Human Exceptionalism

Great Apes Should Not be Given “Rights”

Spain continues to debate giving “human” rights to great apes. According to the story in the Telegraph, “The law would eliminate the concept of ‘ownership’ for great apes, instead placing them under the ‘moral guardianship’ of the state, much as is the case for children in care, the severely handicapped and those in comas,’ said the MP behind the project, Francisco Garrido…Great apes held in Spanish zoos would be moved to state-built sanctuaries, unless there was a risk that moving them would harm their emotional welfare, he said.”

In a saner world, the notion would be branded as beyond the pale, worth a quick chuckle, and quickly forgotten. But the “Great Ape Project” is part of a worldwide effort among liberal intelligentsia types to demolish human exceptionalism. Not coincidentally, this push to convey rights upon animals comes at the same time that we are diminishing the perceived moral worth of the develpmentally and cognitively disabled among us, and indeed, adding to the list of humans that make up our disposable caste. This confluence of bioethics personhood theory with animal rights romanticism will badly undermine our perception of uniqueness and special status, from which flows our acknowledgment of special responsibilities as well as our intrinsic rights. As such, the Great Ape Project is profoundly–and intentionally–anti-human.

What makes this so ludicrous is that none of these animals–none of them–would ever know they had “rights.” Such knowledge and comprehension is beyond their ken. Their “interests” would be promoted by animal liberationists who would use their “wards” as beards–fronts–to push their own ideological agendas. If our distant cousins could comprehend the silliness promoted in their names they would never stop laughing.